So, what do you get if you combine the cinematic genius of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, a mega-budget and a much-loved European comic creation?

Thankfully a slam-bang thrill-ride of a movie as Tintin: Hunt for the Unicorn is a truly magical piece of cinema, a 90-minute romp that will delight folk of all ages.

Paying tribute in all the right ways, Tintin is a faithful retelling of Herge’s tales, starting off at a cracking pace and rarely pausing for breath.

The plot sees boy investigative reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) and faithful dog companion Snowy drawn into a web of intrigue as they seek out clues to the mystery of the Unicorn, a 17th century ship sunk by pirates.

 Turns out the Unicorn had a substantial stash of gold on board, and people worldwide have searched for its watery grave to no avail.

Suddenly we are thrown into a headlong race around the planet as TinTin, along with a horde of no-gooders, battle to find the truth.

For anybody who even has a passing interest in the character, there is plenty to savour here.

From the inclusion of favourites such as Captain Haddock and the Thompson twins, through to numerous sight gags that reference the source material, this is clearly a labour of love on the part of Spielberg and Jackson.

But for those unfamiliar with the Belgian creation fear not, as there is nothing whatsoever to be lost in entering the film with a clean slate.

The flick grabs right from the get-go, with a stunning credits sequence and a neat score from John Williams, and things get better from there.

Sure, the movie does bounce from one set-piece to the next with little time to settle down, but the animation is so breath-taking you find yourself being swept along by the sheer beauty of it all.

Bell is suitably eager and excitable as TinTin himself, and there is excellent vocal support from Andy Serkis, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and a host of other British talent.

There was a mix of battle-hardened press and kids at the screening I attended and it is fair to say it was enjoyed by all.

People across the pond seem to have severe reservations about this, mainly due to the lack of recognition stateside for the central character.

But if a film’s quality is the barometer for potential box-office success, then TinTin should be on course to be a cinematic smash-hit.

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.